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Harrigan & Hart, Famed U.S. Music Hall Performers

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THE REGULAR ARMY, OH


Related threads:
Lyr Req/Add: John Riley's Always Dry (Harrigan...) (15)
(DTStudy) DTStudy: The Regular Army, O (Harrigan & Braham) (22)
Lyr Req/Add: Dad's Dinner Pail (Harrigan & Braham) (8)
Lyr Req: McNally's Flats (Harrigan & Hart) (11)
Add: McNally's Row of Flats (Harrigan & Braham) (6)


Joe Offer 27 Dec 04 - 06:55 PM
DebC 27 Dec 04 - 08:03 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Dec 04 - 08:20 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Dec 04 - 08:45 PM
Joe Offer 27 Dec 04 - 11:07 PM
Joe Offer 27 Dec 04 - 11:26 PM
GUEST,Donal 28 Dec 04 - 01:04 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Dec 04 - 01:25 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Dec 04 - 04:07 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Nov 06 - 10:42 PM
Joe Offer 11 Dec 08 - 02:41 PM
dick greenhaus 11 Dec 08 - 02:56 PM
Liam's Brother 11 Dec 08 - 10:18 PM
Barry Finn 12 Dec 08 - 01:16 AM
Marc Bernier 12 Dec 08 - 10:22 AM
Liam's Brother 12 Dec 08 - 04:46 PM
Dave Ruch 13 Jan 09 - 09:17 PM
GUEST,Ken Brock 14 Jan 09 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,I am the descendant 04 Mar 09 - 12:05 AM
philpots 04 Mar 09 - 12:21 AM
GUEST,Chris Simmons 24 Aug 17 - 08:57 PM
Jackaroodave 27 Aug 17 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,Ken Brock 29 Aug 17 - 09:22 PM
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Subject: Harrigan & Hart
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 06:55 PM

I'd like to know more about Harrigan & Hart, the music hall team. Can somebody enlighten us?
-Joe Offer-

Search for other Edward Harrigan threads


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Subject: RE: Harrigan & Hart, Famed Music Hall Performers
From: DebC
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 08:03 PM

I second that, considering I am recording one of Harrigan's songs, "Dad's Dinner Pail"

Deb Cowan


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Subject: RE: Harrigan & Hart, Famed Music Hall Performers
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 08:20 PM

David Braham wrote many of the songs performed by Ed Harrigan and Hart. They seem to be on many subjects. Information desired on him and his songs as well. Period 1870-1880 primarily.
A couple of brief articles mentioned in thread 76690: Dunderback

Anyone know of a book about these composers and performers?


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Subject: RE: Harrigan & Hart, Famed Music Hall Performers
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 08:45 PM

"The Merry Partners," by Kahn, is readily available used. There are others, but do any of them discuss the songs in detail or are they just biography?

In 1997, "Collected Songs, 1873-1882, Recent Researches in American Music, vol. 27," Ed Harrigan et al., was printed. Its price is $150-160 or more. Sounds good but price prohibitive for me.

Nicholls, "The Cambridge History of American Music" is listed as a reference on Harrigan, Braham and Hart, but it is priced $77-120.

In 2002, "David Braham, The American Offenbach," by John Franceschina, was published. Price $43-53 used and new. Is it just biography or does it include a lot of his songs?

Braham was the son-in-law of Ed Harrigan.


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Subject: Harrigan & Hart composer David Braham
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 11:07 PM

The Big Bands Database Plus has quite a bit on David Braham, who wrote the melodies for Ed. Harrigan's lyrics:
    David Braham
    b. 1838, London, England d. April 11, 1905 New York, NY, USA.
    David is remembered today as the music composer for the famous vaudeville team of Harrigan and Hart. He originally studied the harp but later took up the violin. In 1856, at age 18, he emigrated to New York City. He found work as a violinist in the Tony Moore's Minstrels show. He next worked in the pit orchestras of many N.Y. theaters, finally becoming musical director of the famous Tony Pastor's Theater.

    He started composing at around 1870, but really found success in 1873, when he started working with the team of (Ed) Harrigan and (Tony) Hart, writing the score for the 'The Mulligan Guard', a one-act vaudeville burlesque that lampooned organizations that made a fetish of appearing in uniform. Harrigan and Hart were writing their own shows, and Braham wrote a number of songs for them, with Ed Harrigan as lyricist. The success of these one-act shows encouraged Harrigan and Hart to produce a series of full-length 'Mulligan' shows, starting with 'The Mulligan Guard's Ball', which open on January 13, 1879 in New York City. The "Mulligan Guard" shows became a vogue that lasted for 10 years, with Braham writing the music and Harrigan the lyrics. Some of his songs for these shows were:
    1879 from 'The Mulligan Guard's Ball'
           "The Babies on our Block"
           "The Skidmore Fancy Ball"

    1879 from 'The Mulligan Guard's Chowder'
           "The Horseshoe From The Door"

    1879 from 'The Mulligan Guard's Christmas'
           "The Pitcher of Beer"

    1880 from 'The Mulligan Guard's Picnic'
           "Locked Out After Nine"

    1880 from 'The Mulligan Guard's Nominee'
           "The Mulligan Braves"
           "The Skidmore Masquerade"

    1880 from 'The Mulligan Guard's Surprise'
           "The Full Moon Union"

    1882 from 'Squatter's Sovereignty'
           "Paddy Duffy's Cart"

    1883 from 'McSorley's Inflation'
           "I Never Drank Behind The Bar"

    However, it should be noted that Braham was also writing with other lyricists for other shows, at the same time. Among the lyricists were:
    With lyricist C.L.Stout, he wrote;
           "Emancipation Day"
           "The Eagle"
           "Eily Machree", a hit for minstrel George Coes.

    With lyricist George Cooper;
           "To Rest Let Him Gently be Laid"

    With lyricist Hartley Neville;
           "Sway the Cot Gently, for Baby's Asleep"

    In 1885, Harrigan and Hart split up due to bitter personal quarrels. Both went their separate ways with each producing their own shows. In 1886, Edward Harrigan married Annie Braham, David's daughter uniting the two families. Braham thus became Edward's father-in-law. Braham continued to write with his lyricist-father-in-law Ed Harrigan for Harrigan's own productions.
    The Database thanks Mr. Leslie J. Pasternack for this information on Ed Harrigan's marriage to David Braham's daughter.

    1885, for show 'Old Lavender',
            "When Poverty's Tears Ebb and Flow"
            "Sweetest Love"
    1890, for show, 'Reilly and the 400'
            "The Jolly Commodore"
            "Taking in the Town"
            "Maggie Murphy's Home"
    1891, for show 'The Last of the Hogan's'.
            "Danny by my Side"
            "The Last of the Hogans"
            "Take a Day Off, Mary Ann"
    1893, for show 'The Woolen Stocking'
            "They Never Tell All They Know"
    1896, for show 'The Merry Malones', Harrigan's last production.
            "The Pride of the London Stage"

    One of of the songs they wrote, "Danny by My Side" was sung by Al Smith, in 1933, at the 50th anniversary of the Brooklyn Bridge, in New York City.

    David Braham died in 1905, 6 years before his lyricist Ed Harrigan.


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Subject: RE: Harrigan & Hart, Famed Music Hall Performers
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 11:26 PM

www.musicals101.com has some information on Harrigan, Hart, and Braham:

    Musical comedy: 1879-1890 (by John Kenrick):

    Some British sources suggest that London producer George Edwardes staged the first musical comedies, but most of his Gaiety Theater productions were little more than Gilbert and Sullivan-style operettas with shortened skirts. The form we know as musical comedy was born on Broadway in a series of shows starring Edward (Ned) Harrigan and Tony Hart. Produced between 1878 and 1884, with book and lyrics by Harrigan and music by his father in law David Braham, these musical comedies featured characters and situations taken from the everyday life of New York's lower classes. With these distinctly American works, Harrigan, Hart and Braham laid a path that Broadway musicals would follow profitably for more than a century to come.

    Harrigan had made his name as a comedian in the variety melodeons of San Francisco. Hart was a stage-struck reform school escapee with a rare gift for stage comedy. They met the mid-1870s, and soon developed a routine that poked fun at New York's infamous neighborhood militias. These local "guard" troops were little more than uniformed drinking clubs sponsored by local politicians. Weekend parades designed to impress the public were often so beer-soaked that the participants looked ridiculous. To spoof this, Harrigan and Hart donned ill-fitting uniforms and staggered through inept military drills while singing a merry march.

    We shouldered arms
    And marched
    And marched away,
    From Baxter Street
    We marched to Avenue A.
    With drums and fifes
    How sweetly they did play
    As we marched, marched, marched
    In the Mulligan Guards.

    - Lyric transcribed from sheet music

    Audiences loved the act and the catchy "Mulligan Guard's March" was soon heard all around the world. In the novel Kim, Rudyard Kipling notes that it was a favorite with British troops in India – who replaced the names of New York streets with various Indian locales.

     

    The Mulligan Shows
    When Harrigan and Hart reached New York, their "Mulligan Guard" act was such a sensation that it played the city's top variety theaters for more than a year. Inspired by this acclaim, the team expanded the act into The Mulligan Guard Picnic (1878), a forty minute sketch that packed audiences into Broadway's Theatre Comique for a month -- a very healthy commercial run for that time. This became the first in a seven year series of full length musical farces. The versatile Harrigan performed, produced, and directed while writing the scripts and lyrics. The action was always set on the scruffy streets of downtown Manhattan, with Harrigan playing politically ambitious Irish saloon owner "Dan Mulligan" and Hart winning praise as the African American washerwoman "Rebecca Allup."

    The Mulligan Guard Ball (1879), Cordelia's Aspirations (1883) and the rest of the series proved extremely popular with New York's immigrant-based lower and middle classes, who loved seeing themselves depicted on stage. Powerful politicians made a point of showing up too, anxious to curry the favor of voters. Harrigan & Hart's plots focused on such real-life problems as interracial tensions, political corruption and gang violence, but there was always enough clownish humor to keep everyone laughing. Since every class and ethnic group was treated as fair game (and often depicted with surprising sympathy), nobody took offense. 

    Harrigan's dialogue relied on puns and ethnic dialect to win laughs. In Squatter Sovereignty (1882), an Irish immigrant has the following exchange with his wife when he realizes a fish has been tied to his back as an April Fool's prank –

    MICHAEL: Be heavens, that's a haddock.
    ELLEN:
    'Tis, and was hanging to a sucker.
    MICHAEL:
    You're only codding me.
    ELLEN:
    What eels you?
    MICHAEL:
    I've smelt that before.

    Harrigan and Braham's songs were in the popular style of their day, with lots of sentiment and street-smart humor. The lyrics were redolent with slang, ethnic accents and imperfect grammar, speech forms which had not been set to music before. New Yorkers adored these tunes, and every neighborhood in Manhattan rang with renditions of "Paddy Duffy's Cart" or "The Babies on Our Block" –

    If you want for information
    Or in need of merriment,
    Come over with me socially
    To Murphy's tenement.
    He owns a row of houses
    In the first ward, near the dock,
    Where Ireland's represented
    By the babies on our block.
    There's the Phalens and the Whalens
    From the sweet Dunochadee,
    They are sitting on the railings
    With their children on their knee,
    All gossiping and talking
    With their neighbors in a flock,
    Singing "Little Sally Waters"
    With the babies on our block.
    "Oh, little Sally Waters,
    Sitting in the sun,
    A-crying and weeping for a young man;
    Oh rise, Sally, rise,
    Wipe your eye out with your frock";
    That's sung by the babies
    A-living on our block.

    - Lyric transcribed from sheet music

    Since these songs were only peripherally connected to the plots of the shows, hits from previous scores could be interpolated when things needed a lift. Harrigan and Hart could always find an excuse to reprise their "Mulligan Guards March," to show-stopping effect.

    Harrigan's penchant for hiring relatives annoyed Hart, who's wife felt he was being slighted. The team split up in 1885. Hart went off on his own, but the crippling effects of advanced syphilis forced him off the stage in 1886, and he died soon afterwards at age 36. Harrigan continued to produce and star in musicals until 1893. George M. Cohan's jaunty "H-A-double R-I-G-A-N spells Harrigan" was an affectionate tribute to this early giant of the American musical stage.

    Noteworthy sources on Harrigan & Hart:
    Kahn, E.J. The Merry Partners: The Age and Stage of Harrigan and Hart. (New York: Random House, 1955)

    Moody, Richard. Ned Harrigan - From Corlear's Hook to Herald Square. (Chicago: Nelson Hall, 1980)


    Harrigan, Edward (Ned)
    Actor, singer, librettist, lyricist, producer
    b. Oct. 26, 1844 (New York City) - d. June 6, 1911 (New York City)

    Beginning as a comedian in touring variety shows, Harrigan eventually teamed with Tony Hart – a young comic with a flair for female impersonation. After their "Mulligan Guards" sketch made them variety stars, the team developed a series of songs and sketches featuring lower class characters drawn from the streets of New York. In time, these sketches evolved into seventeen full length farcical musical comedies that delighted Broadway audiences from 1878 to 1885.

    Harrigan ultimately wrote the the book and lyrics for more than twenty five Broadway musicals, including The Mulligan Guards' Ball (1879) and Cordelia's Aspirations (1883), all with melodies composed by father in law David Braham. Harrigan's nepotistic habit of hiring relatives eventually drove Hart to discontinue the partnership. Harrigan continued writing and performing until 1893. One of the most beloved theatrical figures of his time, he was the inspiration for George M. Cohan's hit song "Harrigan" ("H, A, Double-R, I, G-A-N spells Harrigan!")


     

    Hart, Tony
    (b. Anthony J. Cannon)
    Actor, singer, producer
    b. July 25, 1855 (Worcester, Mass) - d. Nov. 4, 1891 (Worcester)

    Hart escaped a reform school to start a career touring in variety. He soon teamed up with Edward Harrigan, and the duo won acclaim with slapstick skits, most notably one in which they sang of "The Mulligan Guards." This grew into a series of farcical musical comedies that focused on the experiences of lower class immigrant New Yorkers. Hart was noted for his extraordinary ability to portray women, especially the comic blackface role of "Rebecca Allup" in several of the "Mulligan" shows.

    Hart's drag performances were so accurate that some questioned his sexual orientation, and his marriage did little to quell the rumors. When Hart's wife encouraged him to feel professionally and personally slighted by Harrigan's nepotistic hiring practices, Hart ended the partnership and tried starring on his own. Advanced syphilis (Victorians called this horrifying condition "paresis") soon forced him off the stage, leading him to madness and death at age 36.


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Subject: RE: Harrigan & Hart, Famed Music Hall Performers
From: GUEST,Donal
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 01:04 AM

Joe,
When I was trying to find out more about 'The Real Old Mountain Dew' I researched Harrigan and
Hart and came up with most of the same stuff that you have, I don't know that there is much more
to be found on the net, and I never got an answer as to whether they actually composed the song
although it is attributed to Edward Harrigan.
                                           Don.


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Subject: RE: Harrigan & Hart, Famed Music Hall Performers
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 01:25 AM

Guest Donal, agreed. We need someone willing to sacrifice himself to check through those books listed above, and others, in a major library. One with a specialty in theatre arts.

(I think "Babies On Our Block" is in a Mudcat thread)


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Subject: RE: Harrigan & Hart, Famed U.S. Music Hall Performers
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 04:07 PM

A site linked by Joe has three Harrigan-Braham songs in this section: Harrigan songs
The Babies On Our Block
Mulligan Guard
John Riley's Always Dry


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Subject: RE: Harrigan & Hart, Famed U.S. Music Hall Performers
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Nov 06 - 10:42 PM

The New York Public Library has the Edward Harrigan papers, 1871-1984 (includes Braham, family, etc. Included in Series 5 are:
3 volumes, 2 boxes and 3 folders of songs by Harrigan and Hart
Folder of lyrics by Harrigan
Box songs by Braham and some folders
Boxes sheet music including some bound volumes of songs by Harrigan and Braham
Series 3 has Scripts of many plays
Much correspondence, programs, clippings, etc., in the other series.

http://digilib.nypl.org/dynaweb/ead/rose/harrigan/@Generic_BookTextView/239;pt=1691

Perusing these papers would answer many questions about late 19th c. comedy, songs and theatre, and the contributions of these important figures.

E. J. Kahn wrote "The Merry Partners: The Age and Stage of Harrigan and Hart," 1955, Random House. Used copies are available for very little.
Michael Stewart, 1986, "Harrigan 'n Hart," Samuel French, not too easily found, but inexpensive.


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Subject: RE: Harrigan & Hart, Famed U.S. Music Hall Performers
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 02:41 PM

I found a wonderful resource on Google Books, Edward Harrigan and David Braham, Collected Songs, 1873-1882, edited by Jon W. Finson (1997). This is a limited preview, so I don't know how much we can access. The songs and tunes are in the public domain, so it might be nice to post a number of them.

I priced the book - it's a paperback, selling used for $155. Seems like there ought to be a better way for people to access this stuff at a reasonable cost.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Harrigan & Hart, Famed U.S. Music Hall Performers
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 02:56 PM

There's a lot of Harrigan's marerial at the Levy Sheet Music website

here


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Subject: RE: Harrigan & Hart, Famed U.S. Music Hall Performers
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 10:18 PM

Edward Harrigan had a couple of biographers. Kahn, E.J. mentioned above and Moody, Richard. Read both books for balance. Neither is really expensive. Reading these 2 books will enlighten anyone as to what they want to know about Harrigan. Don Meade also wrote a very fine short article on Harrigan in New York Irish History, vol. 11 (1997). As mentioned above, the NYPL has the Harrigan papers. If you want to get very deep into Harrigan, go to the NYPL branch at Lincoln Center (theatre division). Harrigan's publishers produced songsters as well as sheet music. Those are on the same floor (in the music division). Bring a computer or notebook with you because these are not the sort of items you can check out.      

The Finson books (there are 2, vol. 1 and vol. 2) are notations of the many songs that Harrigan (lyricist) wrote with his friend and father-in-law, David Braham (composer). They are expensive because they do not have mass appeal. Not all of Harrigan's songs were written with Braham but the overwhelming majority were. The Lester Levy collection has a lot of original sheet music (as mentioned above).

If you just want to find out what Harrigan's songs sounded like, buy "McNally's Row of Flats," a CD by Mick Moloney and friends put out by Compass Records: www.compassrecords.com.

Harrigan, at about age 59 as I recall, wrote a novel entitled The Mulligans. That's usually fairly expensive in bookstores, very good reading in parts.

That's the Harrigan story. It's as rich as deep as you want to dig. Harrigan was a real New York guy. Seek and you will find a lot of New York City social history between about 1860 and 1900.

All the best,
Dan Milner


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Subject: RE: Harrigan & Hart, Famed U.S. Music Hall Performers
From: Barry Finn
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 01:16 AM

Now I know the song "Harrigan" written & used for the musical "50 Miles From Boston" & written in 1907 by George Cohen isn't about Edward Harrigan but is there any thing that might say that there may be a connection?
In the 2nd grade I was in a play/musical (my 1st on stage production that I can remember) & this was the only part of that nightmare that I can remember & always wondered about the song.
I actually skipped out on the one stage performance later that day. I was brought before the "in charge" (Catlick) sister. A girl in the play fasely accused me of spitting in her hair & I was sent off, unbelived, to Sister Superior. I never made it to the BIG Sister's office. I chose to take the rest of the day off & screw up the play they practiced as pay back for the false claim. It was also another first, 1st time I ever skipped school. It was the start of a very shady career. I can still sing the chorus though, what a way to remember the words to songs.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Harrigan & Hart, Famed U.S. Music Hall Performers
From: Marc Bernier
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 10:22 AM

Barry. That song is about Edward Harrigan. There is a connection.


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Subject: RE: Harrigan & Hart, Famed U.S. Music Hall Performers
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 04:46 PM

A footnote from Moody, Richard; Ned Harrigan: From Corlear's Hook to Herald Square (p. 231), "Harrigan had been Cohan's idol. When Cohan first got a trial spot on a benefit program in the 1890s, he recalled that he followed Harrigan from one side of the stage to the other."


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Subject: RE: Harrigan & Hart, Famed U.S. Music Hall Performers
From: Dave Ruch
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 09:17 PM

I just put up a version of the Harrigan and Braham song "Oh, Dat Low Bridge!" on YouTube here


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Subject: RE: Harrigan & Hart, Famed U.S. Music Hall Performers
From: GUEST,Ken Brock
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 09:32 AM

Somewhere in my ancient emails is one from a descendant of Harrigan / Braham who mentions a private phonograph record in the family of an ancestor who as a child in the 1880's had a child role in one of the Harrigan / Hart shows and made the record of his song in the 1950's as a senior citizen. If true, I figure it's likely the oldest show represented by an original cast member recording, even if the recording came 65 or 70 years after the show.


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Subject: RE: Harrigan & Hart, Famed U.S. Music Hall Performers
From: GUEST,I am the descendant
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 12:05 AM

I did a lot of Internet research in the late 90's and now that I am gainfully unemployed, I have found the time to search again. I have found 10 times the information than just a few years ago.

Here is the way it goes: It was William Harrigan 3/27/1886 - 2/1/1966 the actor ("The Invisible Man as Dr. Kemp) and son of Edward Harrigan. He recorded this in Nov 1962. His younger sister Nedda Harrigan had Bill sing from memory the songs he sang on the stage as a boy and in 1923 when he did a retrospective. Variety said he "Scored with a Zoop."

What is even more interesting about the songs is that Bill used the word "colored" instead of the words used in the published version of the lyrics. I think that his father must have changed the words. He was noted for constant rewriting and not resubmitting to the LOC his revisions for copyrighting.


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Subject: RE: Harrigan & Hart, Famed U.S. Music Hall Performers
From: philpots
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 12:21 AM

Sorry, I thought I would be able to enter my email instead and I hit the "Submit Message" Sorry! I registered!


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Subject: RE: Harrigan & Hart, Famed U.S. Music Hall Performers
From: GUEST,Chris Simmons
Date: 24 Aug 17 - 08:57 PM

Mention was made in a previous post of a recording of Harrigan songs (made I believe in the 1950s - a private recording). One of the Harrigan family members kindly
made a copy of it on CD for me.


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Subject: RE: Harrigan & Hart, Famed U.S. Music Hall Performers
From: Jackaroodave
Date: 27 Aug 17 - 02:51 PM

You can download sheet music for The Mulligan Guard (with a lovely illustration) from the Internet Archive here:

https://archive.org/details/b10203035

The site also has a couple of late 19th-early 20th century American theatrical history books that at least mention H & H.


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Subject: RE: Harrigan & Hart, Famed U.S. Music Hall Performers
From: GUEST,Ken Brock
Date: 29 Aug 17 - 09:22 PM

There is an lp, rereleased on CD on the New World label with about a half dozen Harrigan and Hart songs, plus others circa 1880-1890. It's called "Don't Give the Name a Bad Place".


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